Is a Car Cover Necessary?
There’s an image a lot of us have, of the type of person who regularly uses a car cover. Something along the lines of Cameron Frye’s dad—he doesn’t drive the car. He just waxes it, polishes it, looks at it, sits in it.
If you don’t have access to a garaged parking space, however, there really is no better way to protect the finish of your car than to regularly use an outdoor car cover. The damage that sunlight can do to your car—to its paint job and finish, as well as to the dashboard and upholstery—can be dramatic.
Even worse, sun-related fading exacerbates and is exacerbated by the damage your Audi A4 might otherwise suffer from being left exposed in your driveway or on the street.
Leading causes of damage to your car’s finish
- Sunlight: Leaving your car in direct sunlight can easily damage the paint job of your Audi, leading to fading and patches, especially on the roof, hood and trunk lid. That’s the obvious part. What many don’t realize is that direct sunlight also can lead to yellowed headlights and uneven fading on the outside, and cracked leather upholstery and a sticky, faded dashboard. Even more alarming, as plastic degrades, it is known to release carcinogenic chemicals—do you really want to make your commute in a faded, uncomfortable car that also might be negatively impacting your health?
- Salt: For those of the northeastern United States, salt is an ever-present nuisance. In our (too) long, cold winters, road salt eats at our cars’ finish, its undercarriage, its rubber and plastic parts. In our (too short) summers, we rush to vacation on the coast. While the Cape may have a lot to offer from a relaxation and lifestyle perspective, the sea air does no favors to our paint jobs. All the worse, many of us may be able to garage our cars throughout much of the year, but vacations often are an exception. We’re out of our normal routine, staying in a rental cottage or hotel, parking in a driveway or expansive, open, black-top lot in the height of summer, salt air and summer storms washing over all day, every day—there are few scenarios we could think of that would be more harmful to our car’s finish. There’s a clear reason why many luxury car dealers include detailing services in their maintenance plans—protecting the finish and integrity of the exterior of a car is the most effective way to protect the long-term resale value of your vehicle.
- Nature: No matter the season, environmental factors play a huge role in determining how well your car’s finish will last. In the summer, tree sap, pollen and dust will seemingly seek out your car, especially here in New England. These substances settle on your car’s surfaces and harden; once they’ve dried in place, even something as innocent as a sunshower can leave lasting, near-impossible-to-remove blemishes all over your car’s exterior. In the winter, the snow and salt are joined by hail, road grit and gravel kicked up as potholes form. And all throughout the year, birds and other animals are scurrying through the trees or along the power lines above your parked car, oblivious to the damage they might cause to your once-pristine Pelican Blue Metallic A4. A waterproof outdoor car cover addresses all of those potential threats and will keep your car looking new, longer.
- Abrasive cleaners: In addition to a custom-fit waterproof car cover, the best way to protect your car’s finish throughout the year is to keep it clean and to apply wax regularly. Of course, doing so without the right tools—or trying to scrub away substances like tree sap—can do even more damage in the long term. Time and time again, we’ve seen cars come into our shop with scuffed and scratched body panels, the owner sheepishly mentioning they’d tried to scrub away some nasty road grime with a strong cleaner or even an abrasive scrubbing sponge. This sort of damage creates the openings for natural causes to more quickly eat away at your car’s finish, contributing to oxidation and, left untreated, rust and other more serious issues. Using the right cleaning and car care products—from a synthetic wash mitt and drying cloth to a soft wheel brush—will let you keep your car clean without the risk of causing exactly the type of damage you’re trying to avoid.
An OEM car cover will protect your Audi’s finish
Protecting your car’s finish is the surest way to protect your investment and preserve its long-term resale value. A genuine OEM Audi outdoor car cover may seem like overkill. But the “better than custom” fit means less risk of scratching your paint or otherwise scuffing things up as you put the cover on and off, and the convenient carry case means you can quickly and easily stow it in your trunk. And protecting your car’s finish isn’t as simple as parking in a garage. Even inside, dust, pollen, animals and other potential threats will find any flat surface on which to settle—including your car! So, even if you have a pristine garage to park in every night, an indoor car cover will still offer protection for those stretches where you know you won’t be taking your Audi out on the road for a few days.